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November 2, 2022

All in for Families

Drawn to Guilford because of its deep concern for students’ well-being and success, Emma English ’22 aims to extend the same care for families through a career in law. The grad student from Edenton, N.C., is studying family law at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., one of a variety of schools to offer her a scholarship.

“I am immensely grateful for (professors') mentorship and their belief in me as a student that allowed me to develop my research and writing skills, particularly with my thesis work, and to confidently apply to grad school."

Emma English '22
Honors student, double major in Political Science and English and Creative Writing

“My grad program has incredibly welcoming professors who also challenge me intensely, which reminds me so much of my classroom experience at Guilford,” she says.

Prepared for Success

Emma notes the profound impact that Guilford professors Ken Gilmore, Parag Budhecha, and Heather Hayton had on her life and academic and career trajectory. 
“I am immensely grateful for their mentorship and their belief in me as a student that allowed me to develop my research and writing skills, particularly with my thesis work, and to confidently apply to grad school,” she says. 
An Honors Program student, Emma double-majored in Political Science and English and Media Studies and minored in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
“I am particularly interested in the importance of the law in how it establishes what can and ‘should’ constitute a happy, healthy family,” she says. “I hope to work with families who are seen as outside of convention and often denied familial rights because of it, working with families through processes that may be scrutinized like adoption and divorce to affirm their autonomy and decisions of what they know works best for their families.”

Practical Experience

During her time at Guilford, Emma was the treasurer of the Pre-Law student group and co-president of the Women and Non-binary Student Association (WNBSA), a group for students of marginalized gender identities to find community and organize for intersectional feminist causes. She says WNBSA connected her with passionate feminist organizers and gave her the opportunity to be a leader in the community through organizing student awareness and education events. 
Emma also worked with WV FREE, a reproductive justice nonprofit organization in West Virginia as a Voter Engagement and Outreach Fellow. “I was responsible for organizational base-building and recruitment through direct voter engagement and contact, primarily working on content involving the judicial bypass process for abortion access and accessible sex ed,” she explains.
As busy as she was during her undergraduate years, Emma emphasized the importance of soaking in the college experience. 
“Enjoy your education!” she says. “It’s such a privilege to be able to take courses with professors who know you personally, care about your learning, and who are not only passionate about their subjects but passionate about teaching.”
For Political Science students, Emma recommends getting involved in politics-related scholarship programs like Guilford’s Multicultural Leadership Scholars Program and Principled Problem Solving; reading Professor George Guo’s emails for internship opportunities; and committing to the games in Professor Ken Gilmore’s classes. 
For English students, she says, take an off-the-beaten-path course like “The Binge” or “Monster Studies,” get involved with the Greenleaf Review, the College’s literary magazine, or the Guilfordian, the College’s newspaper, and apply for the Sherwood Anderson Creative Writing Scholarship.
“What I miss the most about Guilford is the community of people,” she says, “from the wonderful professors I’ve worked with to the club officers I’ve organized with to my amazing roommates and friends.”

Are you interested in a law career? Schedule your personalized visit to Guilford to learn more about the Elon Law Program, an accelerated pathway to law school. You can also meet with students like Emma — as well as supportive faculty — who share your passion and want to help you succeed as an undergrad and beyond.